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May 19, 2021Best In Tents

canopy tie downs

With the instability of loose sand and the threat of unexpected wind blowing, people often wonder: can you set up a tent on the beach? If there is one thing you should know, it’s the importance of securely anchoring canopy tie downs; after all, you don’t want your canopy blowing away like a plastic bag in the wind!

So, what do you do when your canopy doesn’t hold securely in the sand? Read on to find canopy anchor ideas so you can stay safe and stylish amongst the everchanging seaside wind and the bright, hot sun, and learn the best way to anchor a canopy.

Why Should You Use a Canopy on the Beach?

The days of slathering tanning oil all over and getting burnt to a crisp are long gone. That’s why bringing a tent to the beach and staking the tent in the sand makes sense for a lot of reasons, including:

  • UV protection and skin cancer prevention;
  • A shady place for kids to play games; 
  • Keeping cool on a hot day;
  • A safe place to keep belongings;
  • Comfortable spot for picnics.

But first, you need to know how to set up beach canopy tent anchors for a stable beach canopy.

How Much Wind Is Too Much for a Pop-Up Canopy?

staking tent in sand

Fortunately, our industry has conducted many studies regarding wind resistance. We have used the data from those studies to conclude that right around 38 miles an hour is when you want to discontinue the use of a tent. However, you should always use your best discretion when it comes to outdoor safety. That doesn't mean that the tent's going to blow down at 38 miles an hour but it is better to be safe than sorry, especially because wind gusts can appear quickly. Make sure you choose a wind-resistant tent for any event and use beach anchors for tents for security.

Best Ways to Anchor Down a Canopy on the Beach

#1. Use Beach Tent Stakes and Tent Pegs

The best way to secure a canopy on the beach is to use pop-up canopy stakes and suit tent pegs. Usually, generic metal pegs come along with your canopy and work best for soil. Upgrading to beach tent spikes for canopy tent installation is a worthwhile investment because:

  • Tent stakes for sand are specially designed to provide extra surface area to increase friction. 
  • Beach stakes are thicker and have a corkscrew shape, strengthening their overall hold in the sand. 
  • If you’re on a budget, you also can DIY sand stakes. The best part about weighing down your tent with a DIY solution is that you can use sand right from the beach! Keep reading for our handy how-to guide for DIY beach weights.

2. How to Stake Canopy in the Sand

Simply bang the sand anchors for tents straight into the sandy ground at a 45º angle away from the tent. To further increase stability and help the canopy resist wind, bind two ropes to the peg making a “V” shape away from the canopy. During strong gusts of wind, these bound ropes pull the peg in opposite directions resulting in a fixated stake.

    How to Tie Down a Canopy Tent

    The most common type of knot for tent tie-down anchors is the “taut-line hitch knot”, which forms an easily adjustable loop that jams under load. Follow the directions below for secure canopy tie-downs.

    Step 1: Cross the end of the rope around the leg and over the top of the remaining rope, making a “Q” shape.

    Step 2: Bring the end of the rope (the tail of the “Q”) up through the loop.

    Step 3: Bring the tail through the loop one more time in the same direction.

    Step 4: Pull the tail end parallel to the remaining rope.

    Step 5: Make another “Q” shape, but this time crosses the tail end behind the remaining rope and then through the lower loop from the front.

    Step 6: Pull tight!

    #3 Use Sand Anchors

    One of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to make tent tie down anchors and keep your canopy secured is by taking advantage of what is plentiful on the beach - sand! Take advantage of the weight of the sand to help create anchors for a pop-up canopy. 

    How to Use Sand Anchors tent tie down anchors

    To secure a canopy on a beach, you can use sand anchors (also known as deadman snow anchors). Here are simple step-by-step instructions on how to use anchors for a pop-up canopy in the sand with beach canopy anchors.

    Step 1: Dig a hole one to two feet deep and at least six inches in width.

    Step 2: Place the anchor in the hole with the straps still sticking out.

    Step 3: Cover the anchor with beach sand, stepping on it to flatten and pack down the sand.

    Step 4: Attach the tent line to the anchor’s straps and tie the other end to the canopy.

    The weight of the sand will hold down your canopy safely and securely through the wind.

    #4 Bury Tent Legs

    beach anchors for tents

    Burying the legs of your tent into the sandy floor can help anchor a canopy tent. The legs must be buried at least one foot deep into the sand in order to be effective; if you are handy, bury some PVC pipe below the surface first!

    Step 1: Cut 20” long segments of pipe, four total, cutting one end of each at a 45º angle to create a pointed edge.

    Step 2: Where your canopy legs will be, drive the pointed end of the pipe into the sand at least one foot. You will be left with about half of the PVC pipe above ground.

    Step 3: Slide the canopy legs into the exposed pipe segment.

    This technique can be used in tandem with sand anchors or weights. Bury stakes/weight bags below to get an even stronger hold when securing your canopy tent on the beach.

    #5 Weigh Your Canopy Down

    If you’re looking to save money, and want to know how to secure a tent without stakes, we have some DIY canopy anchors ideas to save the day! The best way to weigh down a canopy is to fill large barrels with water and place them at the base of the legs, or, take advantage of your surroundings and fill your barrel, a cooler box, or DIY sand stakes with sand right from the beach. Concrete blocks or PVC pipes filled with concrete are also safe and budget-friendly weight options.

    Use Wood

    Another DIY option to consider is making wood beach tent anchors. This is absolutely affordable, but a bit more labor intensive. Simply make or purchase four squares or circles of wood or plywood, approximately 6 - 8 inches in diameter and drill holes in the centers. Then run sturdy rope or twine through the hole and tie a knot to secure it. Then, it’s time to get out the sand shovels! Get your kids involved and have them help dig one-foot-deep holes in the sand to bury the wood anchors. Now, even a brisk breeze won’t blow your tent away!

    Use Rocks

    Who doesn’t love walking the beach and finding cool rocks? With this DIY tent sand anchor, you can combine fun and functionality. Simply collect large and heavy rocks to anchor your tent and tie and securely tie the rope around them. Rocks can do the same job as sandbags, but look much nicer and more natural.

    Consider Water Bags or Canopy Sand Bags

    Although this is not exactly DIY, plastic water bags or buckets of sand are also an option. Heavy duty plastic water bags can also be used to anchor your beach tent. Once again, you can get the kids involved! Send them down to the shore to fill up their sand buckets with water straight from the ocean or lake to fill the water bags.

    How Much Weight Do I Need?

    The good news is that beach tents come in all shapes and sizes. Your only challenge is to determine how much weight you’ll need to securely anchor your tent. That’s something you’ll want to factor in when choosing your tent. Obviously, larger tents will need heavier weights. If you’re going the DIY route, that means securing your tent with weights will become increasingly labor intensive with larger tents.

    Read this post to find out how much weight you will need for your tent’s size and to dive deeper into the options that are available as you are trying to decide how to secure your canopy at the beach.

    Other Tips for Staying Safe with Your Canopy on the Beach

    pop up canopy stakes

    Even if you anchor tents securely, mother nature can still wreak havoc on your day at the beach. As much as you may love your local weather forecasters, they aren’t always correct with their weather predictions. We recommend:

    • Along with proper staking, make sure your tent top is tight and that any loose fabric is battened down. 
    • If winds are stronger than 38 miles an hour, it’s time to stop using the tent. 
    • If your tent has sidewalls, the safest thing to do is to remove the sidewall in heavy winds and let the wind blow straight through. 

    We always recommend to our customers that they err on the side of safety, so if you see a storm brewing on the horizon, take it down and pack up your tent as quickly as possible. If the storm happens suddenly, open the sidewalls and go back to dismantle them when the weather improves.

    What Is the Best Tent for the Beach?

    When setting up a tent on the beach, taking the extra time to do it right will make your day much more enjoyable. We recommend pop-up tents for their portability and ease of setup. They also come in a variety of sizes, so you can have a perfect beach tent for two or the whole gang. Whether you use beach tent stakes and pegs or DIY canopy tent tie downs, just be sure to anchor your tent securely!

    What Can Happen if You Don't Anchor Your Canopy?

    An improperly anchored canopy can ruin your beach day!

    Make sure you know how to secure a canopy on the beach to avoid any unnecessary fiascos. Check out American Tent for our canopy tent options, and look into our Giffy Ballasts for a safe and effective way to hold down the fort-literally!

    Tony Ehrbar's headshot

    Tony Ehrbar

    Owner & CEO

    Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

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